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Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is a type of arc welding process; that uses a welding power supply to create an electric arc between an electrode and the base material to melt the metals at the welding point. It is the most common types of arc welding process which is also known as manual metal arc welding (MMAW) or stick welding.
An electric current is used to strike an arc between the base material and a consumable electrode rod or stick. The electrode rod is made of a material that is compatible with the base material being welded and is covered with a flux that gives off vapors that serve as a shielding gas and provide a layer of slag, both of which protect the weld area from atmospheric contamination. The electrode core itself acts as filler material, making separate filler is not necessary. The process is very versatile, requiring little operator training and inexpensive equipment. In several schools, it is the first welding process in the welding history.
All arc welding processes apply heat generated by an electric arc for melting the faying surfaces of the base metal to develop a weld joint.
Among the different types of arc welding processes this research tries to analysis the effects of welding parameters on mechanical properties of SMAW on mild steel. The Metal Arc Welding (MAW) is a type of fusion welding process also known as Flux Shielded Metal arc welding; commonly also termed as the Stick Welding. It is the oldest known and most widely used welding method as stated by RaviKumar et. al. 1 Thomas et al elaborate that; it is a manual welding process, in which the heat is generated by an arc that is established between the flux-coated consumable electrode and the work piece. Rajeev Ranjan; explained Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) as a manual arc welding process that uses a consumable flux coated electrode to lay the weld. 2 An electric current, in the form of either alternating current or direct current from a welding power supply, is used to form an electric arc between the electrode and the metals to be joined. As the weld is laid, the flux coating of the electrode disintegrates, giving off vapors that serve as a shielding gas and providing a layer of slag, both of which protect the weld area from atmospheric contamination. Because of the versatility of the process and the simplicity of its equipment and operation, shielded metal arc welding is one of the world’s most popular welding processes. It dominates other welding processes in the maintenance and repair industry as reported by AlaHijazi in 2013. 3
SMAW is a type of arc welding process that uses a flux covered metal electrode to carry an electrical current. The current forms an arc that jumps a gap from the end of the electrode to the work piece. The electric arc creates enough heat to melt both the electrode and the base material(s). Molten metal from the electrode travels across the arc to the molten pool of base metal where they mix together. As the arc moves away, the mixture of molten metals solidifies and becomes one piece. The molten pool of metal is surrounded and protected by a fume cloud and a covering of slag produced as the coating of the electrode burns or vaporizes. Due to the appearance of the electrodes, SMAW is commonly known as ‘stick’ welding as reported by Mikell Groover in 2002.
In Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) process the filler metal is deposited from the electrode and the electrode covering provides the shielding for the weld product. A diagram of this process is shown in figure 1 as below.

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